In June 2005, a team of four U.S. Navy SEALs set out on a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. The target was a Taliban leader & an individual close to Osama Bin Laden, who commanded at least 140 heavily armed fighters stationed in a small nearby village.
As they took position, the four soldiers were discovered by a pair of Afghan goat farmers and a 14-year-old boy. With no means to secure the civilians, the SEALs were left with a difficult dilemma: to kill the unarmed civilians and secure the integrity of the mission or allow the unarmed civilians to go free with the potential of having their presence & location compromised.
What solution would a Utilitarian argue for? What would a Kantian conclude? What would a Virtue Ethicist advise them to do? Which argument do you most agree with and why?
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